From a reader:
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
Writing as a very disappointed GWB supporter and campaign donor, I think there is a huge segment of people out there who stand by him despite all these insane policy decisions because they simply like him so much as an individual. I think his down-to-Earth way of speaking and sincere religiosity are catnip for a huge proportion of red staters who rightly feel condescended to by the coastal cultural axis.
People build an image of person based on an incomplete picture of reality, and when reality diverges from that picture, they tend to exclude it. It’s like living next to a postcard-perfect family, whose kids play with your kids, the mother runs the church socials, the father coaches little league, and so on, and one day hearing that they host monthly S&M parties. Your first reaction is simply to not believe it–George? Impossible!–and it passes straight through without taking hold.